Choosing to improve your overall health by increasing the organic foods in your diet can be tough, mostly because of the increase costs in your budget (and I will admit, some foods take some getting used to when you switch to the organic version. It actually took me a while until I found organic cereals that my kids would eat!).
If you know how to eat organic food on a budget, you can begin reaping the benefits of healthier foods in your diet without seeing the strain on your grocery budget. While some items will be higher cost, you can plan accordingly and still remain in budget most of the time.
How to Eat Organic Food on a Budget
Menu Plan: Just like any grocery budget is impacted by random grocery visits, it is even more important to plan when you are shopping for organic foods. Organic foods don't usually have as many preservatives in them, making them go bad quicker. Because of this, the cost of wasted food is much higher. By efficiently planning your weekly meals you can make the most of your budget with minimal waste.
Buy In-Season Organic Produce: Plan your meals around seasonally abundant produce. In summer months items like lettuce, tomatoes, squash and peppers are cheaper even in the organic world because they are in-season and abundant. Shop sales for the best deals on the seasonal items and plan meals around them.
Shop Farmers Markets: Make sure to verify the produce you are purchasing is indeed organically grown, but when you find great vendors in your local farmers market you will find huge savings.
Skip the Meat: Since free range, cage free and grass fed meats are typically much more expensive to purchase, serve smaller portions or create more vegetarian dishes to offset the costs. Make taco salads with seasoned beans instead of meat for a cheaper and hearty meal alternative the whole family will love.
Buy a Side of Beef: This has long been an effective way of purchasing meat (read about my purchasing a half a cow), but in the grass fed beef market it is even more savvy for the consumer. If you can't afford an entire side of beef locate another local family who will go in halves with you on the cost and you can divide the portions of meat equally, store in well labeled freezer safe packaging for future use.
Contact the Company for Coupons: More and more organic processed foods are being found on shelves. This has resulted in many of these companies offering coupons to their consumers. Call, email or snail mail the information found on your favorite brand packaging and request coupons to help offset the costs. If you are shopping at Whole Foods, check with their customer care area for coupons. Most Whole Foods stores will routinely have extra coupons for customers to go through, pick out and use toward purchases. They also have an in store booklet including good coupons for future purchases.
Check For Store Rewards Programs: Stores like Kroger have shoppers cards that allow you to receive discounts. You can also contact their 1-800 number and request to be added to their coupon mailing list. They will track your purchases for 2-3 months and then you will begin receiving great free product coupons and regular product coupons. This is great for your organic product purchases. Sprouts also has a “double sale” day where the sale ad begins and ends on the same day. This means there are twice as many items you can save on.
Grow or Raise Your Own: If you have the space and desire, you can easily start your own vegetable garden that will help save costs and give you the knowledge first hand of what was used to grow the produce. In many areas, you can also raise chickens for eggs in your own back yard. Make sure to check your city and county regulations on raising barnyard animals to protect yourself and them.
Eliminate Processed Foods, Even Organic Ones: Instead of buying the meal kits, chips, treats and other items that are processed, make your own from scratch. Not only can it save money, but you will be able to control portions, preservatives and easily find yourself no longer wanting or needing them.
Changing your eating habits can be scary on many counts, but hopefully these tips on how to eat organic foods on a budget can help take away the monetary fears from your family. As you continue to add more healthier foods into your diet and eliminate the over processed and non organic foods, your health and your budget will improve.
Do you have any tips to add on how to save money on organic foods?